2017 Lexus LC detailed, on sale first half of 2017
Part of this comes down to developing an all-new platform. In all, around 4000 people were involved in developing the LC. According to Sato, “The car and a completely new platform was delivered 12 months faster than the usual process”.
Plenty of man hours were also spent trying to preserve the look of the LF-LC as its transitioned from concept car to production vehicle.
Tadao Mori, the car’s chief designer, noted that packaging was the most difficult element for his team. In particular, “how to keep a low roof, but at the same time keep the cabin comfortable or how to fit the car with 21-inch wheels, but still have a low bonnet”.
Among Mori’s proudest achievements with the LC are the head- and tail-lights. The headlamps are said to be the world’s slimmest thanks to “sophisticated lenses [that] focus the LED beams”. Out the back, the tail-lights include twin mirrors to “create infinite reflection patterns”.
Some recent Lexus models have been criticised for being too heavy, including the RC coupe. This, naturally, has an effect on handling and performance, as well as fuel economy.
Although, final weight numbers have yet to be confirmed, the LC does feature lightweight elements, including carbon-fibre and aluminium doors, and aluminium front suspension towers.
In addition to the 350kW 5.0-litre V8 in the LC500, the other drivetrain on offer with the LC is a 264kW hybrid. The hybrid system features an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-litre V6 that’s able to crank over at 6600rpm, up from 6000rpm in its GS450h incarnation.
Unlike previous Lexus and Toyota hybrid drivetrains, the LC500h drives the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission to generate 10 virtual gears. While Sato and team could have chosen to engineer 11 or more gears, they decided to stick with 10 as it “felt best during the many test drives we made”.
Incidentally, the LC500’s V8 is paired with a 10-speed automatic.
The Lexus LC coupe will go on sale in Australia during the first half of 2017. Both the LC500 with a 5.0-litre V8, and the LC500h with a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid drivetrain will be sold locally.
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